Sterling Search Inc. has been exclusively retained to recruit for the new Director of Development for Westmark School.
Westmark School is a creative and supportive college preparatory school dedicated to educating, empowering, and celebrating students with distinct learning styles, providing the tools necessary to achieve successful and fulfilling futures.
The Westmark Difference
Westmark School transforms lives. At every age and every grade. We SPARK THE IMAGINATIONS of our youngest learners, IGNITE PASSIONS in our middle school students, and ILLUMINATE FUTURES for our high schoolers. Since our students learn differently, we teach differently. And the difference is brilliant. At Westmark, we provide research-based, individualized instruction for early intervention. We build on the strengths of students in GRADES 2-12 with language-based LEARNING DIFFERENCES such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, or other math or reading learning disabilities which are often combined with ADD or ADHD. These students shine when they discover that learning differently carries its own unique rewards.
Westmark's college-preparatory curriculum differentiates instruction based on student need and allows children to discover not only their personal academic style but their strengths and areas of need as well. Through the integrated use of assistive and educational technologies, we spark the imaginations of our youngest learners, as they explore their world and learn to love learning again; ignite passions in our middle school students who discover their personal learning styles and strengths, and develop new interests, character and confidence to fulfill their potential; and illuminate futures for our high school students as they become seasoned communicators, self-directed learners, responsible members of society and critical thinkers who push past old limits and reach for success.
Claudia Koochek, a well-known educator in the LD community, brings a unique passion and energy to Westmark as its Head of School. She is dedicated to the practice of personalized learning, assistive and instructional technologies, and experiential and service learning, all essential components of the “magic sauce” that drives student success at Westmark.
In the vision to deliver more of their services, Westmark, in the summer of 2022, broke ground on a new and expanded Lower School campus. The promise of this long-planned project is bold: to create an optimal learning environment that matches the excellence of our academic programs for young learners with language-based learning differences. The Lower School Campus Project is the springboard for Westmark to extend our reach and grow our impact. Representing a major investment in early intervention, the new facility will enable us to increase Grades 2–5 enrollments while maintaining small class sizes and low student-teacher ratios. Coupled with our plan to increase tuition assistance, Westmark will be able to welcome many more neurodiverse learners from across Greater Los Angeles so that they can access Westmark’s highly specialized, research-based curriculum and thrive in our innovative, inclusive environment.
Philanthropy at Westmark
Westmark is supported by a giving Board of Directors who have collectively given $12.5 million to the campaign. Its thriving community raises about $750,000 for its Annual Fund, its gala nets about $300,000, and it raises about another $300,000 through foundations.
This is an exciting time to join Westmark as its Director of Development to build upon the momentum of success with the ongoing $26 million capital campaign which is expected to close in December 2023.
Westmark is seeking a Director of Development who embraces Westmark’s mission, is a thought partner to its Head of School, proactively seeks new opportunities and whose vivacious enthusiasm engages those around in the opportunity to invest in Westmark’s students and their pathways to success.
The Director of Development reports to the Head of School and is a key member of the School’s Senior Leadership Team and is responsible for providing leadership to and executing the school’s fundraising and constituent relations programs—including annual giving and foundation relations, major gifts, and capital campaigns. The Director of Development develops strategies to strengthen relationships across all School constituencies and works closely with the Advancement Committee and other key volunteer committees to create a culture of philanthropy. The Director of Development serves as a liaison to the Westmark Parent Association (WPA). The Director of Development manages a team that includes a Special Events Manager, Database Manager, and a Development Associate.
Develops a detailed plan for the Westmark Fund, including revenue and expenditures for inclusion in the overall advancement plan;
Sets annual giving goals based on historical analysis of donors, prospect base, and School needs. Uses wealth screening, giving history, and other information to determine appropriate ask amounts for each constituent;
Establishes a detailed calendar of solicitations by targeted constituency and fundraising strategy and develops targeted campaigns for parents of current students, grandparents of current students, alumni parents, alumni, and faculty and staff;
Enlists Westmark Fund Chairs and Ambassadors;
Staffs the volunteer leadership for the Westmark Fund, including ensuring that volunteers receive the appropriate training, support, and recognition;
Personally contacts, cultivates, solicits, and stewards prospects, as appropriate, for the
Provides ongoing analysis and evaluation of solicitation programs and monitors results in order to meet goals; and
Collaborates with the Director of Marketing and Strategic Communications in writing and producing Westmark Fund collateral materials.
Develops and implements a plan to obtain annual and major gift support from foundations;
Develops relationships with program officers as appropriate;
Tracks top foundations to ensure that a proposal is cued up at all time;
Conducts research to identify foundations likely to contribute to School programs and projects based upon giving patterns, areas of interest, and relationships with School administrators, faculty, volunteers, parents, and trustees;
Prepares and submits proposals, including tracking progress of proposals through decision making cycle, developing strategies for follow-up and intermediate moves between application and decision, and determining reasons when proposals are rejected;
Elicits assistance and involvement of faculty and others as appropriate in the preparation and submission of proposals and in the cultivation and solicitation process;
Ensures that thank-you letters and timely follow-up reports are drafted and signed as appropriate; and
Establishes and maintains a system for monitoring and reporting the pledged and awarded funds from foundations.
Staffs the Head of School, Board members and others in cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major gifts for the school;
Oversees prospect identification, evaluation, assignment, and tracking of major gift prospects;
Oversees the preparation of proposals, including editing as necessary; and
Works collaboratively with campaign counsel in executing the campaign.
Develops a comprehensive stewardship plan designed to build a culture of philanthropy and appropriately thank and recognize donors;
Ensures there is ample inventory of mementos and gifts for donors and volunteers to be given in appreciation;
Ensures donors are thanked for their Westmark Fund, Spring Gala, and campaign gifts and that communications are thoughtful and inspire donors to give repeatedly;
Responsible for post-gift stewardship of each donor with the highest possible degree of personalized attention, arranging for interactions with the Head of School, and Trustees, as appropriate; and
Performs other duties as assigned by the Head of School.
Bachelor’s Degree and 7+ years of solid fundraising experience with a track record of raising significant funds.
Passionately embraces and effectively communicates the mission and vision of Westmark School to internal and external constituencies.
Able to conceptualize, plan, and implement a cohesive strategy for development and constituent relations.
Demonstrate an ability to balance multiple priorities.
Experienced managing and motivating large groups of volunteers.
Possess excellent organizational, communication and presentation skills, as well as strong computer skills (fluency in Raiser’s Edge software preferred).
Maintain professional and ethical standards for handling confidential information.
Becomes involved in the life of the school, including attending academic, performing arts, and athletics events.
Compensation of a base salary ranging from $140,000 to $165,000 plus a healthy retirement plan 403b employer match, comprehensive health care and time-off (also closed the week between Christmas and New Year).
Westmark School is a creative and supportive college preparatory school dedicated to educating, empowering and celebrating students with distinct learning styles, providing the tools necessary to achieve successful and fulfilling futures.
Located in Encino, CA, Westmark offers competitive salaries and comprehensive employee benefits. We seek talented professionals committed to excellence.